Following the tragic death of Caroline Flack on 15 February 2020, various petitions sprung up online, campaigning to make media bullying and harassment a criminal offence, as well as promoting a safer environment on social media.
One of the petitions that gained a lot of traction was 'Caroline's Law' which was delivered to the House of Commons and Oliver Dowden, the-then Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, in March 2020 by campaigning group 38 Degrees.
The petition's aim was to "consider a law that would make it a criminal offence, not dissimilar to Corporate Manslaughter, for the British Media to knowingly and relentlessly bully a person, whether they be in the public eye or not, up to the point that they take their own life".
"The tragedy of Caroline's death resonated in a very powerful way with the public, who saw her life completely torn apart, through harassment, intimidation and bullying at a very difficult time in her life" - Ellie Gellard, Campaign Director at 38 Degrees
Ellie Gellard, Campaign Director at 38 Degrees, told HELLO!: "One of the things that unites people in this country is wanting a media that is fit for purpose, scrutinises those in power without hounding people and serves the public with information that we need and rely on.
"The tragedy of Caroline's death resonated in a very powerful way with the public, who saw her life completely torn apart, through harassment, intimidation and bullying at a very difficult time in her life. When people see something like this happen, many more are willing to take time out of their days to make their voice heard than you might think."
So far over 870,000 people, out of a desired 900,000 signatures, have signed the petition. As she delivered the petition last year, Holly Maltby, of campaigning group 38 Degrees, said: "Politicians need to urgently step in and make sure there are consequences when the media bully and harass."
She added that it wasn't only celebrities who were experiencing such harassment. "It's people up and down the country, whose lives can be completely torn apart in a moment, because of harassment, intimidation and bullying, often at very difficult times. We're gathering those case studies every day now, of people who said regulators need to be doing more, and the government need to be doing more."
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